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The Ebola Virus


There is only one Ebola cure: time. Thus, treatment focuses on providing relief of symptoms as the body fights the virus. This is called supportive care. There is currently no proven treatment that can kill the virus, nor is there a vaccine that can prevent an infection. 

What Is the Prognosis?

Between 50 and 90 percent of people do not survive the infection. Research scientists do not understand why some people are able to recover from Ebola hemorrhagic fever and others are not; however, it is known that victims usually have not developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death.

The Ebola Virus as a Biological Weapon

In the aftermath of the events of September and October 2001, there is heightened concern that the Ebola virus might be used as an agent of bioterrorism. The United States is taking precautions to deal with the possibility of the deliberate release of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the Ebola virus a Category A agent. Category A agents have a moderate to high potential for large-scale dissemination (spread), and are believed to present the greatest potential threat for harming public health. The public is generally more aware of Category A agents, and broad-based public health preparedness efforts are necessary. Other Category A agents include:
  • Plague
  • Anthrax
  • Tularemia (disease transmitted through the bite of an infected insect or animal)
  • Botulism (food poisoning from ingesting improperly canned or preserved food)
  • Smallpox.

Ebola Virus Facts

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